the magazine for entrepreneurs and the communities that support them Vol. 1 Issue 1
#YGK Inc. publishes first issue
Kingston combo tackle employee engagement
Kingston continues to ooze innovation and charm Made in Canada
Work with us VISIT WWW.YGKINC.CA OR EMAIL SHARE@YGKINC.CA 1. Are you a local writer, journalist, or person who is looking for a way to gain traction in our community? Do you have a passion for telling stories? Are you curious and creative? We're looking for you! 2. Do you take photos? Create art? Excel at graphic design? #YGK Inc. needs you to help people see what Kingston offers. We need your vision!
3. Are you a business owner who can provide excellent advice to entrepreneurs? Do you enjoy breaking down the complexities of your work into easily digestible posts? Tell us more about how your advice could help!
4. Are you an educator? Cool! #YGK Inc. loves schools! We would really like to learn more about initiatives in your school or institution. We think that young people are the greatest, and we want to tell everyone about your projects and innovations. Please keep us informed!
5. Do you represent an organization that supports entrepreneurship in Kingston? Thanks! We're so glad that you're here. As we progress we will be looking to you for any and all information about your services and events. We aim to collaborate in helping Kingston thrive as a destination to do business. Please contact us to setup a time to meet. We can't wait to hear from you!
contents fall/winter 2016
6 GREEN YOUR LIFE Made in Kingston Story and photos by Mike Hector
10-16 SUMMER COMPANIES We connect with Mia's Homecare Services and Quark Designs from the 2016 Kingston Summer Company cohort
18 POPCAN RADIO Born in Kingston in 2015 By Tori Stafford
22 TO YOUR HEALTH 10 ways to treat your body well not matter how busy you are By Dr. Gillian Murphy
28 THE LAST WORD Disrupt Kingston: Loud rumblings disturb picturesque town By Carissa Cosgrove
Our Team. Editor/Curator: Carissa M. Cosgrove
Contributors: Tori Stafford, Mike Hector, Jillian Murphy Photography Editor: TBA Designer/Art/Layout: Carissa Cosgrove Interns: None this round, but we would love to speak to students from St. Lawrence College and Loyalist College about working with us! You? If you are driven, enthusiastic and either have a skill to share or want to learn something new - get in touch with us! We would love to meet you! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to say hello.
EDITORIAL OFFICES P.O. Box 35003 Kingston, ON K7C 5S5 YGK Inc. is published by Armagh Press Ltd. and is a product of FastWarren Communications #
Entrepreneurship meets Community
YGK Inc Maga
Carissa M. Cosgrove
EDITOR-CURATOR Throughout history, individuals have looked to entrepreneurship as a solution to a problem. Perhaps there are no employers looking for your skillset, maybe you are ambitious and are thinking bigger than those around you, possibly you have experienced a personal or professional crisis which led you to forge your own path, or maybe you just see the answer to a big problem every time you close your eyes and feel compelled to share your solution with the world. Right now, we are facing an unmistakable shift in the way our economies work. We are global. We are connected. It is easier than ever before to think of a solution and then act. We are ever more isolated in a world that connects us every second of the day. #YGK Inc. Magazine aims to do these three things. 1. To give opportunity to writers and other creatives in a small community. 2. To tell the stories of the entrepreneurs who have taken risks and worked day and night to build businesses that contribute directly to our local economy. 3. To build the entrepreneurial community by connecting the community to the tribe. It is with great pleasure and pride that I offer you this, the first, and utterly imperfect issue of #YGK Inc. Magazine. I hope you enjoy it. Please remember to hug an entrepreneur today.
MADE IN KINGSTON
GREEN YOUR LIFE With EMMO Kingston e-Bikes Story and photos by Mike Hector
During the warmer months ebikes can be seen all over the city – and their popularity continues to grow. It should come as no surprise, seeming how ebikes a sustainable and affordable mode of transportation. The fact that they don’t require gasoline means that they help reduce strain on both the environment and our wallets. The model that I tested was an EMMO S6. I was instantly amazed with how smooth and downright peppy it was. The S6 it glided over the pavement like a knife through butter and handled bumpy areas incredibly well.
The dealership is owned and operated by James Shadoff and his wife Joanne Kerr. Together, they’ve sold over a thousand ebikes since opening EMMO Kingston six years ago and continue to providing unrivaled service, quality and products to their customers. James is a licensed auto mechanic who brings over ten years of experience after working with such employers as BMW and Taylor Auto mall. Eventually, his career moved from the workbench to the showroom side as a service advisor. It was there that James developed a new set of skills associated with customer service. Joanne comes from an extensive background in customer relations and also manages their Facebook and Twitter accounts in addition to their website. James and Joanne take a consultative approach to sales that focuses more on meeting their clients’ needs rather than simply selling a product. Q: What is a favourite memory that stands out over the past six years? James: We enjoy seeing our senior riders. One of our customers rode a two wheeled ebike from his late 80’s to his early 90’s. He rode a motorcycle for over 30 years so he was confident on his ebike. He eventually switched to one of our three wheeled mobility products. Joanne: They’ve been previously stuck in their homes and couldn’t go out unless they had a friend help them out. Now, they’re able to go wherever they want to. To be able to help them reestablish a social and mobile way of life is rewarding. Whenever we see them out and around town it’s a great feeling.
EMMO eBikes 645 Gardiners Rd. Kingston, Ontario
"WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TWO WHEELS ON THE ROAD – AND THE SAFETY OF MY CLIENT IS MY MAIN CONCERN. WE TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY. " JAMES SHADOFF
Q: What first ‘sparked’ your interest in e bikes? Joanne: Back then I didn’t have a driver’s license. I was working at the old StarTek location on Princess which is now Farm Boy. James and I lived near the Kingston Centre and I would walk to work every day. During the summer it was really hot – but then James learned about the EMMO brand of ebikes. James: We visited the Toronto dealership for EMMO. I found the quality and build of these e bikes were superior to others I had checked out. What also sparked my interest, was that EMMO was looking for people to become dealers. I’ve always wanted to own my own business. Joanne: When (James) was a little boy he used to do haircuts for the other kids. James: *laughs* Haircuts, lemonade stands, you name it. Q: What do you love most about owning this business? James: The happy customers. As long as our customers are happy, we’ll always be busy. We strive to make sure that they feel that they are getting a really great product at a good price with good service. Joanne: For many of them, this has become their favourite activity. Ebiking is a hobby that they just love.
I personally safety check each new sale, and treat it like I am setting up my own ebike. We don’t just take the customers money and send them on their way. We’re talking about two wheels on the road – and the safety of my client is my main concern. We take it very seriously. Q: What are the financial and environmental benefits of owning an ebike? James: Even if you use the ebike 30 percent of the time, you’re still going to save money. Many people think they will only save gas money but there’s so much more. Using an ebike for incity driving will mean less wear and tear on your car. Fewer oil changes and fewer kilometers translate into less maintenance cost for the driver. Also, you’re prettywell removing your carbon footprint from the road.
James: When we meet a customer the first step is to determine what they need out of their e bike. Then, we get them to test drive a few models and based on their skill level I will provide lessons so that they‘re confident when they eventually ride in traffic. *This article originally appeared on www.ygkinc.ca
Thank you Kingston
With gratitude to all of you who have offered your support and guidance to this project, it would not have been realized without you.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP. WINSTON CHURCHILL
MIA'S HOMECARE SERVICES a 2016 kingston summer company
Written by CARISSA M COSGROVE
Sitting in the sun at Kingston Market Square, Mialynn LeeDaigle greets me with a smile, and I already know I will enjoy the next 50 minutes. “Many people don’t think that seniors can have a full life. They still enjoy life and want to see their families,” says LeeDaigle. Mia is the bilingual (English/French) owner operator of Mia’s Care Services, a senior care business that offers assisted care to your loved ones with an aim to improve quality of living and reduce risk of harm at home. “I’m going into my 4th year of nursing at Queens, that’s what brought me to this business in a way. Last summer I worked as a research assistant for a Master’s of Science and healthcare quality program and the professor I was working for was doing research in medication errors in community
homes. I found it very interesting and I learned a lot about the senior population; how fast it’s growing and how much need there is for support in people’s homes. I don’t think we’re ready for the giant spike were going to have in the senior population.” Mia heard about the Summer Company small business training and funding program from her boyfriend who knew a past participant. Delivered locally through KEDCO, Summer Company is a provincial initiative designed to inspire and support the entrepreneurial minds of students in Ontario. “That is what inspired this. When I heard about the Summer Company program, I thought it was great that the government would give me a grant to try it out,” she said. Mia says that watching her grandparents navigate the process of aging was a real eye
"I DON’T ’
THINK WE RE READY FOR THE GIANT SPIKE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE IN THE SENIOR
mia's homecare services - a 2016 kingston summer company
opener to the challenges that independently minded individuals face as they carve out their space. “My grandparents recently moved from their home into a retirement home. It was a huge change for them. They are now waiting for a nursing home these are huge transitions. There is not enough room in our nursing homes, the wait times are two to three years,” said LeeDaigle. “Watching my grandparent’s process, and listening to my mom and her friends, I learned that people are looking for these services right now and they are needing this support,” she said. “In April, I contacted Rachel Eagen (Summer Company coordinator at KEDCO), and had an interview where I presented my business plan and laid out all of my requirements. I was accepted into the program and fulfilled the training required to obtain my grant.” “The main thing I took away was about health and safety, which is a bit ironic because of the nature of my business. But my own health and safety. I hadn’t thought of myself that much and I think what I learned from that training was most important. Marketing lessons and the importance of proper client targeting were critical to my business development,” she said. Operating a successful small business presents a great number of challenges, and often at the beginning, there are many elements that must be selfmanaged. Mialynn was not shy about sharing how complex the process has been. “I’ve been doing night shifts. It’s tough juggling the three hats I need to wear; the finance, the marketing and then being the person who offers the product and service. Providing the service tires you out, but at the end of the day you still have to be marketing and taking care of the administrative sides of your business,” she said, still smiling.
So what happens to Mia’s Care Services come September when Mialynn returns to school? “What I envision is having many of the same clients throughout the summer, and it could continue. I will be in school so I won’t have as flexible a schedule, but it’s an amazing experience for myself and I plan to continue it. I’m learning a lot. I’m meeting a client later, she’s developing Alzheimer’s and she has shortterm memory loss. It will be interesting for me to learn more about these separate segments – Alzheimer’s, vision difficulties, hearing difficulties. The needs are scattered and it’s making me become more adaptable.” “When I become a nurse, I want to work with seniors. Without Summer Company, I definitely would not have started this business. I just don’t think I would have thought it to be feasible, but with their support – not only financially, but because of the scope of opportunity they have provided – I guess that’s just the little nudge I needed. I think also that many nursing students don’t go into business – it’s a great opportunity,” she said. To learn more about Mialynn and Mia’s Care Services, help yourself to the following links. Mia’s Care Services – Please contact me if you or your loved one require a qualified senior care assistant to provide safe, empathetic, and compassionate care. On the web: www.miascareservices.com By email: email@example.com Prefer to chat? 6133297186 Are you social? Find Mia here; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn – Mialynn LeeDaigle
*This article originally appeared at www.ygkinc.ca in June 2016
PHILANTHRO-PAGE At #YGK Inc. we believe in community, and we know you do too! Please support our community by giving back to organizations that do good work and help Kingston thrive.
QUARK DESIGNS a 2016 kingston summer company
Written by CARISSA M COSGROVE
Robert Cooper thinks that this is shaping up to be the “best summer ever.” The fourthyear mechanical engineering student from Queen’s University is part of the 2016 Summer Company cohort in Kingston and has spent the past few weeks building his business with the help of a program grant. Cooper is a Brockville native who came to Queen’s because of its reputation and proximity to home. “I spent the past few summers working at a cable manufacturing plant, and I’ve had an internship with Ontario Power Generation – I enjoyed both of these experiences, but starting my own company has allowed me the flexibility to work at any and all hours and offers opportunity for me to spend time with friends." Cooper owns and operates Quark Designs, a web design and development business which also offers postproduction training for their clients.
The Summer Company program provides business startup grants and training designed to jumpstart the entrepreneurial experience for young Canadians. It is operated locally through KEDCO at Innovation Park in Kingston. “The training from Summer Company has been eyeopening, there are many elements to running a small business that are not obvious. We were provided training in social media, business accounting; tracking mileage, parking, receipts from any purchases – it is a lot more complex than most people imagine.” Quark Designs has completed the Summer Company training and is fully operational. When asked about the most valuable elements of the training for his business, Cooper says; “I definitely like the independence that this offers. I’ve learned a lot about business financing, social media, advertising – different ways of advertising."
“TRY TO DO GOOD WORK OUT THERE. TRY NOT TO WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR COMPETITORS. YOU WANT TO BE FOCUSED ON YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND NOT OVERANALYZE THINGS.
” robert cooper
quark designs - a 2016 kingston summer company
"We learned how to best speak to potential clients which is important because you don’t know who might be your next customer.” So what should a person try to focus on when they are starting up? “Try to do good work out there, try not to worry too much about your competitors, you want to be focused on your own business and not overanalyze things,” said Cooper. What are Quark Designs top three productivity increasers? 1. "Trello app is a way to organize tasks, it’s quite easy to use between devices so you can see your tasks on the go.” 2. “I use Airmail which is an app for Apple devices. It’s an email client and I find it better than the application that comes with their native operating system.” 3. “Pen and Paper – During the training I was taking a lot of notes, so I would take a snapshot at the end of the day and record them to Evernote so I can organize them and keep track electronically.” What is the biggest challenge for Cooper and Quark Designs this summer? “Advertising for myself is definitely tough, it’s out of my comfort zone in terms of speaking with businesses I don’t have a connection with. It doesn’t feel very natural to me – so I have to get used to that." The biggest reward of running a company for the summer? “Entrepreneurial experiences can be an asset to employers. It’s great experience if I want to start a more permanent type of business. The finance portion has helped
me not only become more aware of how to manage my business expenses, but it also helps me to better manage my personal expenses – which is a great life skill to have. I think this program will help me out with my last year of school, I can see how some of these organizational habits can complement my habits as a student which will hopefully translate to higher marks,” he chuckles. Quark Designs uses WordPress themes to build or improve web presence and functionality for his clients. He recently setup a website for a Pharmacist's Association and was able to improve their productivity by implementing a feature that allows members to pay fees and subscriptions online minimizing the workload on their administrative staff. “WordPress is userfriendly and easy for the client to manage,” he said. When asked if he will continue to operate his business once he enters his final year of school, he says; “I’m still going to have my own website up for the business, but I’m not going to be as aggressive in pursuing clients because I still have this one last year of studies. If people approach me and want a website done, I’ll still be glad to help and make a website for them." What is on the agenda for Cooper once he wraps up his studies in 2017? “I definitely want to work for a techbased company; they might be making websites, they could be making mobile applications. I really enjoy working on a computer and staying up to date with technology, so if I could find a job like that I would find it rewarding.” Cooper is currently reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. *This article originally appeared at www.ygkinc.ca in June 2016
We help you. Do extraordinary work. www.fastwarren.ca
born in Kingston in 2015
KINGSTON S POPCAN RADIO BLASTS INTERNATIONAL AIRWAVES By Tori Stafford There’s nothing quite like it: the babbling bleeping mixed with single identifiable words that roll around like rocks on a shoreline as you manually dial in a radio station. In today’s world, you’d be hardpressed to find a teenager who is familiar with the sound, but for radio enthusiasts and those in the business, that gargling, popping static and sound inspires a comfortable nostalgia. That’s a feeling Michael Bartlett knows all too well. Bartlett began his career in commercial radio during the late 1980s at DC 103 FM in Orangeville, Ont. Initially “just pushing buttons” to play music and prerecorded voice tracks, Bartlett was immediately drawn to the magic of the industry. “I met some really great people. I loved the music, I loved the personalities, and it was so much fun,” Bartlett reflects. "I was hooked on radio." Although he ventured into other work for a number of years, Bartlett found himself drawn back to radio. Moving to Gananoque from the KitchenerWaterloo area, he began working at MY FM. Over time, Bartlett became the general manager and general sales manager of the station. “It was a great opportunity: nice small station, great markets, a lot of fun people,” he said. “But, over time, I realized I was very restricted in what I could do.”
“I was hooked on radio.” Michael Bartlett
Bartlett cites being unable to play local artist Patrick Kirkby as an example. “He was a great musician who put together a great CD, and he was from Gananoque!” Bartlett explained. “I wanted to be able to play his song, but we weren’t just able to put him on the air. I was pretty disappointed.” #YGK Inc. Magazine November 2016 issue 1
1 eussi 6102 rebmevoN enizagaM .cnI KGY#
MICHAEL BARTLETTPOPCAN RADIO
I NOW H
A 83 .
VE LISTENERS CO
A A A, A
ST IN C
ST TO CO
’ A AA A
THEY RE C
100 ,A A A A A A .”
LL LISTENING TO
INTRODUCE NEW MUSIC TO THE PL
THE TIME IT S PRETTY SURRE
ast forward to today, and you find out exactly how Bartlett solved that problem. In November of 2015, Bartlett launched PopCan Radio, an online radio station listeners stream online or through the PopCan Radio app. Dedicated to 100 per cent Canadian content 24 hours a day, the radio station may not be traditional in the sense that one can tune in over the airwaves, but PopCan Radio offers a lot of the familiar features of traditional radio. “It’s almost like Pirate Radio in the sense that I can do or say anything I wish, it’s just that I choose to make it sound more commercial, so it’s appealing to more people,” Bartlett expressed. “There’s a comfort zone with it. It’s not like [the listener is] going from commercial radio over to online radio, which can be vastly different… I wanted people to be comfortable when they started listening to the station, so that it was familiar, but it was something new.” PopCan Radio offers some unique features apart from its all Canadian content. Both the website and the app allow listeners to make requests, as well as offer suggestions on new talent. For Bartlett, these options further his original goal of being able to play any and all Canadian artists and offer a platform for new and emerging artists at the same time. “I want to be able to enhance the ability for Canadian musicians to be heard.
born in Kingston
There was a time where you could drop off a cassette or a CD of your band to a local station, and you might get a chance to be heard. But that’s not the case anymore… Traditional radio is very difficult for a new artist to break into,” Bartlett said, noting that PopCan Radio will play any good quality recording of a Canadian artist, so long as the content is non offensive. “We’re opening that door for independent musicians to send their work in, and, at the same time, our listeners who love independent artists will request them,” he continued. “So sometimes the bands don’t even have to submit it! It’s the listeners themselves that are fans of independent music that give me suggestions to add to the playlist, as well.” Bartlett admits developing the station has had its challenges. Originally, Bartlett planned to launch the apps and the online station at the same time, but an unforeseen roadblock came in the form of developing apps compatible for both Android and Apple devices. In order for Apple to approve the PopCan Radio app, Bartlett had to secure rights to the album art for each album in his playlist. Determined, Bartlett began contacting individual record labels to secure those rights. He’s also worked diligently to continually better the app in terms of interactivity – artists
November 2016 not available on Amazon or iTunes are difficult to link to if a listener wants to purchase an album, but Bartlett works around that by offering the banner space at the bottom of the app to new and emerging artists. And with his sights on national advertisers and sponsors signing on in the near future, this is only just the beginning for PopCan Radio, Bartlett said.“I now have listeners coast to coast to coast in Canada, and in 83 different countries,” he said, noting that one listener in Paris has been listening for over two weeks, and that members of UN tuned in while on a mission in Haiti. “They’re all listening to 100 per cent Canadian content, and I am able to introduce new music to the play list all the time. It’s pretty surreal.” www.PopCanRadio.ca Requests@PopCanRadio.ca NewMusic@PopCanRadio.ca www.Facebook.com/PopCanRadio.ca www.Twitter.com/PopCanRadio www.Instagram.com/PopCanRadio App available on Google Play & Apple App Store
FastWarren helps you communicate.
We can: • Streamline your marketing, increasing operational efficiency • Produce content that drives more traffic to your website • Reduce project turnaround time • Reduce expenses, redeploying valuable staff to other areas • Create branded, authentic content and marketing materials • Help meet other needs by directing you to fantastic talent
We do: • Write content for your blog or other publications • Create press releases, build you a media kit • Edit your books and other materials for publication • Create branded presentations and simple videos • Build media campaigns for your launch or other celebrations • Connect you with opportunities to build your leadership profile
We help you. Do extraordinary work. www.fastwarren.ca
Ways to Treat
your Body Well, No Matter How Busy You Are BY
I get it. You’re super busy and super important and you don’t have time for tedious, lackluster topics like nutrition. But here’s the thing. Eating well has been proven to increase energy, improve mood and reduce sick days. All of which equal more creativity, more productivity, and MORE MONEY. Oh well, now I have your attention...
to your health
Here are ten relatively easy ways to eat well and stay healthy, no matter how hectic and demanding your schedule might be. 1. Hydrate: Drinking water throughout the day will stave off headaches, can mildly improve immunity, curb cravings, and improve energy. Keep a stylish water bottle from S'well at Heel Boy or a large Mason jar filled with water on your desk and you won’t forget to sip through the day. Herbal teas are also a great option. 2. Prepare: BORING, I know. But a wee bit of prep on Sunday nights will set you up for the week ahead. Make it fun: I put on some Ray Lamontagne, pour myself a glass of wine, and get to work. In the summer, I prep 1-2 chopped summer salads (which keep well in the fridge when you leave out the lettuce, and can be eaten on their own,
3. Reduce Caffeine: A bit of caffeine is no problem. A lot of caffeine (think more than 2 cups a day) will interfere with nutrient absorption, dehydrate you, lead to headaches, and can affect your adrenal glands, which help you cope with stress. 4. Honour your Hunger: Scan your body for signs of hunger throughout the day. Rate your hunger on a scale of 0 (not hungry at all) to 10 (so hungry you’d eat a bicycle tire). Try to eat when your hunger is between a 5-7. This will keep you from making “hangry” work mistakes and prevent late night binges when you finally have a moment to relax.
piled into wraps, or added to last-minute
5. Reduce Alcohol: It might make you
dinners). In the winter, I roast chicken/beef,
funnier and a better dancer, but alcohol is
vegetables, and prep a homemade soup on
doing nothing for your blood sugar levels.
the weekend. I haven’t tried homemade pot
As with caffeine, moderation is everything.
of noodles yet, but I’m really intrigued!
A glass a day, no problem. More than that will increase cravings, headaches, and put undue stress on your body. NOVEMBER
to your health
6. Grab & Go Snacks: In order to
9. Outsource: When you’re an
properly honour your hunger, you’re
entrepreneur, time is everything. Make
going to need to have some good, hearty
healthy food a budget priority and hire
snacks on hand. Invest in healthy snacks
someone to prep fresh, healthy meals for
that store well and can be easily thrown
you. I love the idea of hiring a St. Lawrence
in your bag when you’re on the move.
College Culinary student to do the job.
Shop for a wide range of snacks
Other options: (still looking in to this!!! A
including; healthy trail mixes, protein
local ad on Kijiji might be the best
bars, gluten-free crackers, Greek yogurt,
nuts, dips and bags of apples that could feed an army. Tara Whole Foods is a great option for healthy bars and bulk snacks. 7. Know your Healthy Take-Out Options: Get to know the restaurants in your area and what the healthy options are. There will inevitably be a day when you haven’t prepped food and the snacks have run
10. Make Health a Priority: I’m not suggesting it needs to be your TOP priority. Health is a value and you get to decide how important it is in your life…but eating some healthy foods and exercising, even moderately, are imperative to maintaining your immune system, energy, and stamina in the long-term.
out. Being ready to make the healthiest choice possible will save you lots of time and angst. My favourites at the moment: Fresh-pressed juice from Simply Well, Starbucks Hearty Veggie Salad, Sima Sushi, or a super loaded veggie sandwich with Gouda from The Golden Rooster.
8. Get Moving: Exercise is obviously NOT a food tip but it is what I call a “keystone” habit (a habit that encourages other good habits). Leaving your desk to get some fresh air or to hit a class will inspire you to want to hydrate, eat, and sleep better. Spots to Try: Moksha Yoga Kingston, Apex Indoor Cycling, Powered by Pilates or The Kingston School of Dance for a drop in ballet class!
Dr. Jillian Murphy is a Naturopath and Intuitive Eating Counsellor. She provides body image, weight, & nutritional counseling for women who are ready to love their bodies and stop feeling crazy around food, and she’s really good at it – just ask her mom. For more info & articles, visit www.kingstonnaturopath.ca and download Find Food Freedom, her free guide to making peace with food.
NOVEMBER 2016 • #YGK INC.
By Carissa Cosgrove
DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S WRONG? Local tech company partners with HR guru to help solve the connundrum of employee engagement
The world of business spends a lot of time kicking around buzzwords in their communications. Some of the chatter is fleeting in its importance, and then there are the concepts that equate to high value returns when executed properly. Enter, employee engagement. It is possible that you’ve heard this so many times that you filter it out, but guess what?
The value of employee engagement to your business is at an all-time high. We no longer live in a world where we get hired out of school and retire from a nicer office 40 years later. Employees know that in one way or another they are expendable. This doesn’t mean that employers aren’t playing nice in the sandbox, it’s just the way business works in our new economy. So the challenge becomes, how do we keep people engaged when they are not expecting to be so for decades? How do we make sure that we are in touch with the people who make our business buzz? How do we get people to tell us what we are doing right, and what we are doing wrong? Have you ever been a boss? Have you ever been told to your face what you are doing poorly by one of your staff members? Have you ever told your boss directly that you believe they are making a bad choice? According to a Gallup Poll from March 2016, a whopping 34.1% of workers in the US are
WWW.THEREALMETRICS.COM engaged at work. Engagement, for this purpose, is defined as “meaning they are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” This is the highest level tracked by Gallup since March 2011.
that he had fully engaged and thrived in. The company where he had earned accolades as a top national agent three times lost its charm as the focus went to supporting demands of the shareholders.
So what does this mean?
If you look again to Gallup and explore their State of the American Workplace publication, you will learn that 70% of American workers are ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’ and are 'emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive." Gallup estimates that these actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. They are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.” Bill Howatt the chief research and development officer of work force productivity with Morneau Shepell in Toronto said in a September 2016 Globe and Mail Leadership Lab article that “An effective survey tool ultimately provides an accurate baseline to build on and a way to link employees’ behaviours to organizational results.” Enter The Real Metrics. A monthly mobile friendly anonymous survey for your staff complete with monthly reporting, survey attendance reports, and HR consulting based on your personalized results. The Real Metrics is the brainchild of Kingston implant Ben Bowen, and was born out of a personal experience with disengagement.
It s important that I created this the day I decided to be part of the solution, not the problem,” said Bowen. “ ’
After spending the formative years of his career with a massive corporation that lived and breathed its culture, Bowen found that the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis eroded the very culture
We went from selling cool technology to selling commodities. I had won awards and trips and it was awesome, but after a while, it wasn’t fun anymore, the culture was killed. And I lived that for a long time,” said Bowen. With the decultured employer, Bowen had sat on a national advisory board and met with the C-level executives quarterly, achieving a front row audience with the people who had the capacity to resolve the slow decline in the culture of the company he loved so much. But even at that level, was unable to facilitate change as executives were hyper-focused on satisfying shareholders, not solving culture and engagement issues within the business. I saw amazing company culture drop to devastating levels. Some of my former colleagues spend their days daydreaming of how they can get out of what they should be doing every day, exploring potential holidays or checking out cat videos.” “
It was a natural progression for the vibrant entrepreneur to develop his own form of data driven solution to the critical and far-reaching problem of disengagement at work. After the challenges of pre-production, development, product testing and finally iterating the product , his product is now consumable. Data is used to form a plan of action for business leaders with consulting led by Emily Koolen of E Koolen Consulting Inc. in Kingston. And it's available at a deep discount to early adopters. The Real Metrics is a measurable employee engagement tool. We get busy CEO’s connected to their people, to get people to feel like they are important, they are heard, and that things change in their favour for the greater good of the company. And we do it through consulting facilitated on an accessible and measurable platform,” said Bowen. “
WWW.THEREALMETRICS.COM We really believe that if you’re people focused, the profit will be there. I wish I had a more complex way of stating it, because it’s supposed to be complicated. That’s the beauty of this, if you look at a strong business model today, you may find a problem that’s really complex, but the solution has to be simple.” “
Engaged is a buzzword, but it really means loyal and passionate. You can measure that by whether employees tell their friends about it, try to bring them into the company, do they stay a little later, come in earlier, do they try to do extracurricular activities with the company?” “
Imagine you had a staff of 50 people and we were able to measure that only 40% of those were engaged in their job, the other 60% is daydreaming, they’re chitchatting, they’re on YouTube and Facebook, they’re shopping, planning vacations, cutting out early, they’re wasting time in so many ways.” “
Now imagine you’re going up against a company that’s using the real metrics, you’ve got the same 50 people who are 80% engaged – 100% is difficult, because life happens. But if you take the two companies, going up against each other, who’s going to win the market? The team with 80% engagement,” said Bowen. “
The Real Metrics features a monthly anonymous employee survey , an attendance report for employers showing who showed up while maintaining user anonymity, and a detailed management report of survey findings.
the last word
Disrupt Kingston: Loud rumblings disturb picturesque town. It takes many people to build an empire, hard work must be done by many to create growth and change. Recently, #YGK Inc. saw back-to-back examples of how Kingston is becoming known around the world as a city where technological innovation is thriving. WORDS BY CARISSA COSGROVE In October 2016, executives and team
Artificial intelligence will impact all of
and build world class products that
members from across North America
us eventually, and many of us already
change the face of industry every day
and Europe quietly descended on our
make use of the technology. Have you
from Kingston, Ontario – we have
city eager to network and learn about
ever used Siri? Cortana with your
moved into a new category. We are
the respective developments of their
Microsoft products? Does your printer
not a small town in southeastern
industry colleagues – developments
know when the tech needs to visit or
Ontario, we are a mighty place with
which will change the way we do, think
you need ink replacement?
the infrastructure and support to grow
about and understand data collection.
the tech sector in Canada. We are Thanks to IBM and cognitive computing
cost-effective, charming, riddled with
The event, Harvesting Data 2016,
for example, you can now have a chat
good food and adventure and plunked
hosted by Printfleet, brought speakers
with Connie, the Watson enabled
right down in the centre of the map – a
from Daisy Intelligence, Photizo Group,
concierge robot when you visit the
2.5-hour drive to Toronto, 2 to Ottawa
IBM, HP and Samsung together to share
Hilton hotel in McLean, Virginia. She
city centre, and to New York City,
the latest on predictive analytics,
can help you choose a place to eat, or
around 6 hours by car depending on
industry challenges and successes, and
discover the best route to go for your
your level of fear towards state
cognitive computing; sometimes
morning run. Thanks to PrintFleet, your
considered a subset of artificial
HP tech has already booked a visit to
your office next Wednesday, and you
It is fair to say that there exists locally
didn’t even know you were going to
a growing network of experienced
entrepreneurs leading the way in
Printfleet, a global leader in print management solutions, grew its local
disruptive technology, and if you want
roots in Gananoque, Ontario and is
At the same time these technologies
to know what’s next, just take a peek
now based in Kingston working with
were being discussed in Kingston,
at the startling number of startups
dealers and distributors in over 100
Stantive Technologies, also of Kingston,
operating from Innovation Park. Get
countries across our planet.
was making an announcement at
familiar with Innovate Kingston, the
Dreamforce 2016 in San Francisco
group of entrepreneurs working to
The now global company builds
about their strategic partnership with
show Kingston off as the best place in
solutions in partnership with the world’s
Silicon Valley based Vantiq, to
Canada to start a startup. The
print leaders – groups like HP, Samsung,
combine Vantiq’s smart system
opportunities that exist and will
IBM and Brother, solving problems
capabilities with targeted content
continue to expand for young grads
related to automation, service delivery,
powered by Stantive’s OrchestraCMS.
looking to build a life in an affordable
and data collection.
The partnership will extend the
and safe community are here, there is
capabilities of OrchestraCMS with the
more than one landing page and
Jim Denzak, the North American
ability to intelligently recommend
chance to thrive in a unique business
Cognitive Solution Leader, Global
content based on real time user
Electronics Industry for IBM delivered
behaviour and activities.
an enlightening talk about the massive
We are strategically positioned to
disruption that is taking place in the
These are just two examples of how
become a force for growth in the tech
field of technology due to advances in
Kingston based tech firms are very
sector and it is up to all of us to
artificial intelligence and cognitive
firmly positioned in the global
support those leading the way.
computing. Accompanying Denzak was
Observe the disruption from afar, or
Amaresh Rajasekharan, one of the
join the convoy – either way, it’s going
architects for Watson, IBM’s Cognitive
Due to the commitment and leadership
of these and other companies to stay
to be a wild ride.
#YGK INC. MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND THE COMMUNITIES THAT SUPPORT THEM
mission To help grow the entrepreneurial community in Kingston through info-sharing, education and storytelling.
vision We envision growing support for local business, and an increase in understanding of the value of creative work in our community.
values Integrity, Grit, Perseverance, Kindness, Creativity, Conviction, Diversity, Humour, Compassion, and Stewardship TIMELESS STYLE
KINGSTON, ONTARIO CANADA WWW.YGKINC.CA
Made with by